The Shed is a nickname that has been shared by three aircraft built by Shorts Brothers. The Skyvan, the 330 and the 360 have all, at times, been given the same nickname. Small numbers of all three aircraft continue in service but they are not a common sight. However, a cargo operator does bring a 360 into SFO on a daily basis. I caught it departing recently and felt its rarity value deserved a post. It is not going to win prizes for looks (and some guys I used to know who flew them were less then complimentary about their handling in icy conditions) but here you go anyway.
A meeting in the heart of San Francisco meant a bunch of our team were meeting downtown. A few of us got there a little head of the meeting and, with a couple of minutes available, I wanted to check out the City Hall building since it was only a couple of blocks away. As an old City, San Francisco has some classic architecture and this is no exception. For some reason, despite the numerous times I have been to the city, I have never been to City Hall before.
A group of school kids were playing some orchestral music in the main hall and plenty of family members were there. I wandered around taking a look. Since I didn’t have my normal cameras, the phone had to serve duty. Fortunately, that also allowed me to try another one of the 360 panoramas. I suspect I shall be carrying another camera with me when I am next in the area.
There is an app I have had on my phone for a while called 360 which is for taking panoramic photographs. I have had it for quite a while and have mentioned it before here but they have progressively introduced new features over that time. While the new operating system has a pano function built into the camera (if your phone isn’t too old), it is rather basic and nowhere near as good as this one.
Taking images requires a little planning since you are able to take a full spherical image. Doing this without having the whole thing look strange in close requires you to keep the camera point itself unchanged as you turn around. This is harder than you think. The software can compensate a bit but you need to try and get it right in camera as much as possible.
It shows you a grid of the total shot and so you can see which bits you have shot and what is needed to fill it all in. It gives you a live preview as you shoot including looking straight up and down when required. Once the image is complete (or as much of it as you want), it processes it and then you can upload it to a website to view later. The links here are from that site. It is a great app and fun in some situations and valuable in others when showing off a wide view is hard to do any other way.
When checking this examples out, don’t miss out on a cool feature. At the top of the viewer are three buttons. It starts on the middle setting which allows you to pan around. If you click on the left button, it creates a view from the ground up. The right button creates a view looking straight down. (This only works properly if I have shot a full 360 image.) This looks like the work that Gerry Holtz has done and I blogged about here although his is far superior.